What will the next government do to end the bus cuts crisis?
Unless there’s devolution of powers and funding in places other than just London and Manchester, those that rely on vital bus services will keep suffering
Millions of people rely on local bus services to get them to work, school, job interviews, hospital appointments and shops. According to annual bus statistics [pdf] from the Department for Transport (DfT) there were 4.7bn passenger journeys on buses in England in 2013-14. But as austerity measures make mincemeat of council budgets many vital subsidised services – which provide a bus where one is needed but no commercially operated route exists – are disappearing.
In addition to the government’s 28% cut in funding for local authorities, the bus service operators grant, which provides a fuel duty rebate to bus service operators, has also been cut by 20%. Cash-strapped local authorities have responded by reducing their funding for bus services by £44m (15%), and more than 2,000 routes or services have been lost [pdf], according to the Campaign For Better Transport (CBT).
Source: Guardian Transport